On May 11th, a five panel tribunal delivered a unanimous verdict convicting George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and legal advisors Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee, and John Yoo of War Crimes. The week-long trial in Malaysia was run according to the standards set by the Nuremberg Trials to convict war criminals after World War II. While they may be unable to enforce the conviction, they can turn it in to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, and the Security Council. Bush, Cheney, and the others probably won’t be arrested in the United States, but they could be arrested in other countries. I remember Cheney having to sneak in and out of France last year, to avoid arrest for War Crimes. And I understand Bush has canceled a trip to Switzerland for the same reason.
What is it about some politicians and lawyers that makes them think they are above the law? I first encountered this with the first U.S. President I voted for — Richard M. Nixon. Yes, I voted for him. 😦 I even worked for his campaign in 1972. Someone explained to me that because lawyers deal with the law on a daily basis, they may lose respect for it. They help create laws and realize that in courts the law can be twisted in a variety of ways. After Nixon’s Watergate scandal, and subsequent resignation, this was refered to as Nixon Syndrome (when a lawyer or politician sees themselves as above the law). Maybe Nixon did me a favor, because I have distrusted politicians ever since. But I’m pragmatic, and I still vote. I still hope.
I love living here in Northern California, and in many ways I am proud to be a U.S. citizen. But there are things our Nation and our national leaders have done that make me ashamed. I was ashamed of Bush and his handlers when he was President. Their disrespect for the average citizen, for people in other nations, and for the Earth, made me sick at heart every day he was in office. Now he, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and five of their legal advisors are convicted war criminals. They are offering the same excuses other war criminals have offered, that they were serving their country. No they weren’t . . . . they were serving themselves and the Big Money that put them into office. Today, again, I am sick at heart for the shame they have brought the United States. I hope they do suffer consequences.
Please — those of you who are running for office in this U.S. election year — remember you are not above the law. No, everyone doesn’t cheat. You will be held accountable to the people you are supposed to represent, NOT Big Money.